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Cheapest And Best Way To Send Money To Australia

Looking to send money to Australia after you move to Oz?

When we both arrived and picked the best bank account in Australia, we just did what we thought was the cheapest and best way to send money to Australia. We both just transferred our hard-earned savings using our trustworthy Irish bank account. A few days later, we smiled and said YAY let’s grab a drink our money arrived!

It sounds like a perfect story doesn’t it?

Unfortunately not, while enjoying a tasty ice-cold beer with our friend who had been living in Australia for about six months, he asked us.

Just how did you send money to Australia?

Duh, silly, we just transferred money with our bank accounts in Ireland. No way! You realise the banks take an extra 4-6+% on the exchange rate, and you probably paid a sending or receiving fee, right?  Yea but only like $30 to receive it each. Sure, how the hell else would we send money to Australia? Curiously looking at friend

A money transfer company! I used OFX to send money to Australia and saved a fortune! 

Anyway, without keeping this dialogue going and boring you, we quickly realised that banks are a complete rip-off when you are sending money to Australia!

So why are they cheaper than banks?

Best way to send money to Australia 2018

Over the years, we have used OFX to send money to Australia and to send money to Canada.

Hopefully, you are reading this before you make the same mistake as us.

But don’t worry. Even if you did, there is still time to save money.

We will break down why it is the cheapest and best way to send money to Australia.

It may seem complicated to use a money transfer service to send money to Australia, but it really isn’t. 

These are the steps for the best way to send money to Australia

  • Set up an account with OFX – register with this link, and get free transfers for life.
  • Send money into the OFX account.
  • Exchange it – Depending if you are using $, £ or €’s. With OFX, you get a dedicated broker to help you get the best rate and lowest fees. 
  • Send it to your new bank account in Australia.
  • Boom, you just saved a fortune on bank fees! 

So how is it cheaper?! You still haven’t explained yourselves.

Best way to send large amounts of money to Australia

Okay, okay, so when you are sending money with traditional banks, they take an average cut of 4 -6% on the exchange rate.

So, for example, if you sent €5000 to Australia with your bank, you would pay an extra AU$229! 

Yes, you read that right! At least, that is what it is at the time of writing this.

It doesn’t just end there because you are sending it from an international bank account.

You will likely have to pay either sending or receiving fees to send money to Australia.

We paid like $30 each just to get money into our new commonwealth bank account.

How much would we have saved sending money to Australia?

If only our friend had told us earlier, we would have saved over AU$300 between us. We sent around €2500 each at the time. That is a lot of extra beers we could have had! And for what?

After we registered with OFX, we actually got money faster than when we sent money to our banks! Madness!!!

Alternatives to OFX for sending money to Australia

Best ways to transfer funds to Australia

As you can see, we are pretty happy with Currencyfair, and over the years, it has saved us $ 1000s on bank fees(yes, $1000’s!). That is how much money the bank is making, haha.

But you will see many other people suggesting the likes of Wise, HiFx or CurrencyFair.

These three are great and much better than banks!

We are affiliated with these companies, which means we do get a small commission at no additional cost to you. In fact, you will get additional savings by going through us. 

What if I am sending larger amounts of money to Australia?

But guys, I need to send like $50k to Australia! 

For whatever reason, there might come a time when you have to a larger amount of money to Australia.

Or if you have saved up your hard-earned pennies from a few years in Australia, then you might want to send them back home.

So what are you supposed to do?

By all means, Currencyfair is a great choice, but sometimes it is nice to speak to someone who can advise you on the rate, the best time to trade and so on.

We have been recommending OFX since 2013. They are awesome and available 24/7.

We also have free transfers for life if you register with this link.

Final tips for the cheapest way to send money to Australia.

Conclusion on the best way to send money to Australia

You came here looking for the best way to send money to Australia, and I hope this post has given you some insight into why banks are a complete rip-off.

In summary:

  • Banks = Bad! They take 4 -6% of the exchange rate, and you likely will pay extra sending and receiving fees. 
  • Money transfer services = Good! As long as you use a reputable company like the ones we have used, then life will be good.
  • They still need to make money. On average, they take around 0.25% of the exchange rate and use local banks, so NO sending or receiving fees. 0.25% vs 6%, we have a winner, haha.

Our recommendations:

  1. OFX – Amazing for larger transfers and if you need that personal touch. Sign up here and get free transfers for life.
  2. Transferwise – Just like Currencyfair really cheap to send money to Australia
  3. HiFx – You may have heard of XE currency(we use their app all the time). Well, they bought them, haha! Another great option is for when you need to send money to Australia.
  4. Currencyfair – Up to 8x cheaper than banks! Sign up here and get your first 10 transfers for free.

We have a whole host of additional info about moving to Australia in our Australia section. You can also check out Irish Around Oz for useful resources. 

You can read our other international money transfer guide here.

Best way to send money to Australia

Thanks for reading, and enjoy those extra few beers on us the next time you send money to Australia.

Steve and Sabina

P.S Don’t use banks! 😉